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Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Does ruling improve chance for labor deal?

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

The federal appeals court ruling favoring NFL owners keeps the lockout in place -- possibly well past the court battle scheduled for June 3.

The broader question: Could the shift facilitate a new labor agreement in the interim?

These labor skirmishes are often best viewed from a distance. Otherwise there's a tendency even for those with legal backgrounds to overreact.

But with the federal court at least seeming to favor owners in a hearing scheduled for June 3, it is at least conceivable that players could have more incentive to strike a deal. NFC West teams would be big winners under such a scenario as they seek stability amid an offseason packed with staff and quarterback changes.

A separate ruling affecting $4 billion in broadcast revenue could also prove influential, although a victory for the players at the district level could send the case directly to the appeals court where owners scored their victory Monday, as legal analyst Michael McCann notes.